Across the United States, extreme weather from drought in Texas to record flooding in North Dakota has caused widespread crop loss. To better reflect its mission to help all people and businesses adapt to climate change, WeatherBill has changed its name to The Climate Corporation. The new URL for the company is http://www.climate.comand The Climate Corporation can be followed on Twitter @climatecorp.
"We are honored to have someone of Senator Dorgan's character, experience, and passion helping us meet the needs of today's farmer"
The Climate Corporation combines Big Data, climatology and agronomics to protect the $3 trillion global agriculture industry with automated full-season weather insurance. As part of its effort to help farmers adapt to the increasingly unpredictable weather that threatens their livelihood, the company today also announced the appointment of former U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan to the company's Board of Directors.
"We are honored to have someone of Senator Dorgan's character, experience, and passion helping us meet the needs of today's farmer," according to David Friedberg, Chief Executive Officer of The Climate Corporation. "As we deepen our agricultural focus, we now have a company name and identity that better reflects our constituents, as well as the counsel of a distinguished public servant who has worked throughout his professional life to help the American farmer."
Byron Dorgan joins The Climate Corporation Board of Directors following a distinguished 30-year career in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives. As a U.S. Senator representing the State of North Dakota - a rural state with a thriving agriculture industry - Senator Dorgan was a strong advocate for family farmers. He served on the Agriculture Committee in the U.S. House and on the Agriculture Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Mr. Dorgan is currently a Senior Policy Advisor at the Washington, DC law firm Arent Fox LLP, a Senior Fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center, and a Visiting Professor at Georgetown University.
According to Dorgan: "In recent years, family farmers have seen volatile commodity prices, rising input costs and increasingly unpredictable weather, accentuating the substantial risks they already face. When I was first introduced to The Climate Corporation, I realized they were destined to be successful in helping today's farmers deal with increasingly volatile weather. I saw their ability to marry available government data with Silicon Valley innovation and technology to help U.S. farmers mitigate the financial effects of weather damage to their crops and knew that I wanted to be involved."
The Climate Corporation protects farmers from the financial impact of adverse weather - the cause of more than 90 percent of crop loss - with automated, full-season weather insurance. Total Weather Insurance complements federal crop insurance - closing the protection gap that farmers face due to government program limits. The level of farmer support that will be provided by federal programs in the future is currently under Congressional debate as part of deficit reduction discussions.
In 2011, The Climate Corporation has seen extensive growth across its entire business. The company projects an overall 10x growth in 2011, including 1,000 percent increase in number of policies sold, insurance premiums purchased, and number of customers and acres of farmland protected. The company has also tripled its employee count in the last six months alone.
"The Climate Corporation has given me a lot of peace of mind. I tell others that some of the limits of federal crop insurance, Total Weather Insurance is another way that is reasonable to insure yourself," according to Indiana farmer and Climate Corporation customer Greg Mace. "When you're talking about $7/bushel corn and $15/bushel soybeans, you have to think about it. It's not hard in a wet year to lose 10% of your crop around here."
Crop insurance agent George Bercaw of New Albany, IL commented: "For some of my growers who received payments from The Climate Corporation for early season rain this year, it was a life saver. It gave them a nice injection of cash at a time when they really needed it. Many of my clients simply had their inputs washed away this spring. Total Weather Insurance helped provide funds to get the crop in the ground, while MPCI replant claims were still being processed by adjusters. The Climate Corporation's payments came in a matter of weeks and crop insurance payments took months. It's been weather whiplash for these guys and without Total Weather Insurance this season a few of my clients may not have weathered the storm."
Total Weather Insurance (TWI) is The Climate Corporation's flagship full-season weather insurance program. Created with insights from agronomists and farmers nationwide, TWI addresses farmers' exposure to financial loss even when they fully utilize federal crop insurance programs. TWI provides farmers with the ability to lock in profits by protecting against weather events that cause production shortfalls, before government coverage kicks in. Unlike traditional crop insurance, which requires verification of crop yield and inspections prior to payment for damages, The Climate Corporation automatically sends payment when specified weather conditions occur, as measured by independent sources such as the National Weather Service.
At the heart of TWI is the technology platform conceived of by the company's founders, who have realized their vision of applying Big Data principles developed during their tenure at Google to the real-world challenge of protecting people and businesses from the financial impact of adverse weather. The company's technology platform ingests weather measurements from 2.5 million locations and forecasts from major climate models on a daily basis, and processes that data along with 150 billion soil observations to generate 10 trillion weather simulation data points used in the company's weather insurance pricing and risk analysis systems. The Climate Corporation manages over 50 terabytes of live data in its systems at any given time.
The Climate Corporation will release Total Weather Insurance for the 2012 corn and soybean crop year on November 1, 2011. For more details, please visit www.climate.com/twi.
The appointment of Senator Dorgan and the company name change to The Climate Corporation are both effective immediately.